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Dona has no regrets about Dada quitting

Our Correspondent in Nagpur | November 07, 2008

Like her husband, Dona Ganguly knew retirement was inevitable so when the decision came, she was not surprised.

After a career which saw Sourav Ganguly [Images] amass more than 7,000 runs in Test cricket and 11,363 runs in one day internationals, Dona says she has no regrets as the left-hander ends his international career after the fourth and final Test against Australia [Images] in Nagpur.

Dona, who traveled to Nagpur with daughter Sanaa to witness Sourav's farewell Test, told in an exclusive chat: "It was a decision that was coming, so no regrets. Everyone has to retire."

Sourav, she says, will be able to spend more time with his father Chandidas Ganguly who has been his biggest supporter since he took up the game.

"He used to miss his father a lot when he travelled for cricket. He can spend time with his dad," says Dona.

She missed watching Sourav's debut Test at Lord's in 1996 and wanted to be there when he bid adieu to the game.

"I was not present at Lord's when he scored a century on debut. We were not married then. I wanted to be a part of his last Test," she adds.

The Dada videos

Sourav told the Board of Control for Cricket in India's felicitation ceremony in Nagpur on Thursday that he owes all his success to his father.

"I am using this opportunity to thank my father who is the saddest person today that I am quitting cricket. I owe my entire cricketing success to him. I want to thank my wife whom I have known for a long time, my family, my brother who is not there and all those people who supported me since my under-15 days," he said.

Ganguly's career has been marked by a few controversies, but he said he has no regret since he always worked towards improving Indian cricket.

Celebrating Sourav

"The last 13, 14 years I have made some friends and I have made some enemies, but I want to assure you that it was all for the good of Indian cricket."

Ganguly said it has been a long journey with his team-mates, some of whom he has been with for the last 20 years.

"It has been a long journey for me with lots of ups and downs, victory and loss, but it was wonderful. I have some fantastic memories at the end of the day. I shared the dressing room with Sachin (Tendulkar), Anil (Kumble), V V S (Laxman), Rahul (Dravid) whom I had met in Kanpur long back during an under-15 tournament," he said.

"It was a great run not just in terms of the sport, but in terms of life. For me this game was not only about the sport, but a great life turner," he said.

Ganguly, the most successful captain in Indian Test cricket history, wished new skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] good luck.

"To my team-mates it has been a wonderful journey. To MS and (Indian coach) Gary (Kirsten), good wishes for a wonderful future," the 36-year-old star said. "You are the torch-bearers of Indian cricket along with the members of the Indian cricket team. I hope you take Indian cricket forward and whenever I sit in front of the TV I can say I have played with these guys."

Image: Dona and her husband, then Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly cut a cake to celebrate his 32nd birthday at their home in Kolkata, July 8, 2004. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

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